Helen Mariel Caldwell, 85, of Springfield, Mo., died at her home May 17, 2020. She was born Jan. 6, 1935 to James H. and Vera Kafoury Caldwell. Her mother died in 1939. She and her three sisters were raised by their grandfather, W. Guy Caldwell and his sister, Nell C. Biggs. In 1946, their home in Curryville was destroyed by fire and the family moved to Bowling Green. Their father lived and worked in Troy, Mo., later marrying Elizabeth Myers of Troy.
Helen graduated Bowling Green High School in 1952, Christian College in Columbia in 1954, and University of Missouri in 1956 with a bachelor’s in science in home economics and in 1958 with a masters. She graduated University of North Carolina with a master’s in public health. She was employed by the Missouri Division of Health in Jefferson City as a Public Health Consultant, then later as director.
In 1970, she moved to Rockville, Md., and was employed by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare as a nutrition consultant in the international office in Maternal and Child Health Service. She held that position in Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago until her retirement in 1995. Helen authored numerous publications on nutrition in maternal and child care health.
Helen moved to Hollister, Mo., in 1995, then to Springfield. She was active in the Community Christian Church, NARFE, Senior Democrats of the Ozarks, Green County Public Services, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity.
In 2012, Helen, along with her Charles Collins, started a Peace Garden in memory of her dear friend and Charles’ wife, Joan Collins, on the grounds of the Nathaniel Green Botanical Gardens in Springfield. It is a beautiful tribute to world peace in Joan’s memory.
Her parents, stepmother, and sisters, Isabel Caldwell Watkins and Nell Caldwell Grimes, all died earlier. She is survived by sister Emily Caldwell Ogden and husband, Ray, of Bowling Green, step brother, James H. Caldwell, and wife, Jeri, of Maui, Hawaii, nieces and nephews, Guy and Margaret Watkins, Debbie Watkins Dickerson, David and Carol Watkins, Don and Carole Grimes, Darrell and Beverly Grimes Thompson, Gary and Cindy Grimes, Alan and Marge Ogden, Michael Ogden, Art and Janice Ogden Flynn, Jeff and Tammy Ogden, James H. Caldwell III, Samantha Caldwell, and their families.
Helen was cremated and burial was in the Caldwell family plot in Curryville.